Judge dismisses App Store Monopoly lawsuit


Earlier in the year, Apple had requested U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers to dismiss a consumer lawsuit, which claimed that the company has a monopoly over iOS apps.

The plaintiffs claimed that Apple has a monopoly as it doesn’t allow users to buy apps from an ‘aftermarket’ of apps. Apple’s lawyers argued that the company doesn’t set the price for paid apps in the App Store, and charging a price for distribution of products on a platform does not violate antitrust laws. They also argued that there was nothing illegal about a closed system. The lawyer representing seven consumers insisted that if there was no other place to buy apps then Apple is a monopolist.

Judge Rogers didn’t rule on the matter at that time. Bloomberg reports that the judge has dismissed the lawsuit yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland, California, ruled today that the plaintiffs weren’t in a legal position to bring the suit as they hadn’t bought the applications at issue in the case. The complaint can still be amended and refiled, Gonzalez said.

The plaintiffs failed to prove “collective allegations that they have been deprived of lower cost alternatives, paid higher prices for Apple-approved applications, or had their iPhones disabled or destroyed,” Gonzalez wrote. “At a minimum, plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple’s alleged conduct.” 

The plaintiffs can still amend and refile the case, and that is exactly what they plan to do. The lawyer for the plaintiffs told Bloomberg that he had “no difficulty” refiling the case to meet the judge’s requirements.

“We can add the extra detail very easily” to advance the claim Apple has “cornered the distribution market for software for the iPhone,” he said. 

It’s quite a frivolous lawsuit and I’m surprised that the judge gave the plaintiffs an option to refile the case. Do I want another App Store from where I can buy apps? Sure, but I can’t see how monopoly could be applied to something like the App Store.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

[Via Bloomberg]

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